Mobile first in a conservative company - UXLx 2014

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  • I’m a UX Expert working for Euroconsumers

    And your first question might be…
  • Who are we?

    We are a non-profit consumer rights organization working in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Brazil.

    We basically promote and defend consumer rights. We work for about a total of about 1 million consumers.
  • We are represented in Belgium by Test-Achats
  • In Spain by OCU
  • In Portugal by Deco Proteste
  • In Italy by Altroconsumo
  • And in Brazil by Proteste
  • On our web strategy, you probably noticed,…
  • We have a global approach.

    If you take a quick a look at our websites you’ll see that they’re very similar.

    And why we take this approach?
  • Through the years we’ve been learning that basis doesn’t change that much from country to country and the same with people’s behaviors. And having a global approach allows us to focus more on local markets and specificities.
    From a development and design point of view it’s way more effective to manage. For instance when we implement a change that will affect all markets the deployment will be faster.
    Collaboration and communication across teams from different countries is simplified as everyone has a common understanding of what our web platform is.

    Reaching this stage took us a lot of sweat and tears. But as the world wide web keeps evolving so must we…
  • So last year, something funny happened 
  • We decided it was time for us to go mobile.

    We already had developed some apps for Android and iOS, but our websites were not mobile friendly.
  • At the time, there was a lot buzzing about “Responsive”, “Adaptive Design” and “Mobile First”.
  • But what all of that meant for us?

    We clearly had some doubts about what was the right path, the right strategy for us to go mobile.
  • So last year, at this very conference, we heard Luke Wroblewski talk about Mobile First.
  • Basically on a mobile first approach, you start by developing mobile and then go to larger resolutions.
  • So after this talk we thought “This might be the right strategy for us”.
  • However, we didn’t know where to start…
  • On euroconsumers projects are mainly developer/ technology driven, where UX is new a thing.
  • So we decided to look for external support…
  • An that’s how we came to work with Giles Colborne and cxpartners.

    Funny thing about this, is that we met Giles Colborne, the managing director at cxpartners, last year at UXLx!

    Some of us attended his workshop on Advanced Simplicity and were impressed with his work. And when it was time to pick a partner we contacted them, and other companies.

    But, After some negotiation, we closed the deal with cxpartners…
  • And it was the beginning of a beautiful partnership!

    In fact we got along pretty well working together.
  • With this partnership we wanted 2 things:
    To set up an environment that would allow us to develop a good quality service for our users
    And to learn. Technically, but most of all methodologically. We wanted to bring the user to the center of our decisions.
  • IT all started on September 2013. We had the project kick of meeting in Brussels where we:
    Got to know each other
    Clarified the scope – basically we divided the thing in 3 main areas
    And set the planning by defining the next steps
  • What we did was:
    To pick the inputs we had from the previous 2 weeks – the Experience map, behavioral profiles and design concept – and start to work on our main areas, one at a time.
  • We started by defining the concept. We went through discussions about the flows, what is important, what we have, etc. and defined our strategy.
  • Then we started to put our ideas into sketches that helped discuss and refine them to finally put them on a prototype.
  • On the second week of the iteration we tested the prototype. We rented a lab with an observation room. We invited team members and stakeholders to attend. We were able to see and ear the user and also his interaction with the website.
  • Right after our user research we gathered and defined how we should improve our prototype.
  • What we did was:
    To pick the inputs we had from the previous 2 weeks – the Experience map, behavioral profiles and design concept – and start to work on our main areas, one at a time.
  • We did 3 iterations of this methodology, during 6 weeks. It was an adventure 
  • And at least, but not less important, the team!
  • The team had people from different backgrounds: Designers, Developers, UXers and business representatives.
    We also came from different countries: we had Belgian people, Portuguese, Spanish, French and English.

    We all spoke English with each other (and sweared on our mother languages!).
    In spite of having some difficulties we were able to understand each others pretty well. The language was definitely not a barrier!
  • And after…
  • Where we had business buy-in
  • And we are already adopting…
  • In fact we are already doing the same in Spain!
    We took advantage of all the valuable input we had from the Belgian portal and did 1 longer iteration where we developed the prototype for the whole thing. This time our focus was on a new area - the saving accounts comparator.
  • With this adventure we were able to gather some important lessons that I would like to share with you.

  • Helps bringing the right product for our users – Probably you are sick of earing this but is true, and I think it’s never too much to reinforce this message. Sometimes is forgotten…


    Gives us the opportunity to connect more closely with our users: during our user research sessions in Brussels and Madrid we had the opportunity to interact with 20 users of our websites. This gave us a lot of insights of who they really are, what are their expectations and common behaviors. This type of insights has tremendous value for this and future projects!

  • Makes future project iterations more efficient: as everyone has a common understanding of what we want to achieve, future iterations where for instance, the developers have a main role, and some questions arise the developer knows how to answer because he knows why that decision was taken.

    Quickens the decision process: the decision process can be hard thing in our company. For one simple thing, we might have to inform and get approval from a lot of people. Since we had business represented in our team that person took the decision and was the advocate for it among other business people. This made the decision process more efficient.

  • In summary, it’s important for creating a good work environment and working more efficiently, however you cannot possibly do this type of things all the time and expect people to be at their best.
    It’s normal that people feel tired, start to miss their lives, their homes, their families and this causes stress. It’s important to be understanding and respect people’s personal space.
  • Basically everything that doesn’t require a lot of brainstorm, ideas discussion and get your ideas validated. After doing the heavy work it’s easy to divide and conquer and give people individual responsibilities. Then you just need to do some follow up and project status meetings, some light planning and minor idea discussions.

    It also helps to have the right tools for collaboration. Where for meetings many people can be involved at the same time, share the screen is possible. This type of things help a lot.
  • Mobile first in a conservative company - UXLx 2014

    1. 1. MOBILE FIRST IN A CONSERVATIVE COMPANY © 2014 Susana Vilaça | Euroconsumers
    2. 2. Who we are We are a private, independent and non-profit consumer rights organization working in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Brazil.
    3. 3. Belgium
    4. 4. Spain
    5. 5. Portugal
    6. 6. Italy
    7. 7. Brazil
    8. 8. About our web strategy…
    9. 9. We have a global approach
    10. 10. • The basis is the same. We can focus on local markets and specificities. • More effective to manage. • Simplifies communication and collaboration between countries.
    11. 11. Last year…
    12. 12. We started to think MOBILE
    13. 13. We heard a lot of buzzing about…. Responsive Adaptive Design Mobile First
    14. 14. We had some doubts which path to choose
    15. 15. In 2013 at UXLx, we heard Luke Wroblewski talk about Mobile First
    16. 16. • To prioritize and focus on the most important services • To deliver new experiences to users by taking advantage of the capabilities of mobile devices Starting mobile allows …
    17. 17. Mobile First might be the right strategy for us!“ ”
    18. 18. Where do we start?
    19. 19. We had almost no experience with mobile
    20. 20. We are a Developer-Driven company. New to UX. © Maurizio Zanetti
    21. 21. The nature of our services is complex. © nerovivo
    22. 22. Dealing with local markets and its specificities can be hard. © ‫انوار‬
    23. 23. We decided to look for external support
    24. 24. We met Giles Colborne last year, at UXLX!
    25. 25. It was the beginning of a beautiful partnership
    26. 26. • We wanted to develop a good quality service for our users • And to learn. Both technically and methodologically. With this partnership…
    27. 27. How we worked together © bonnie juean woolger
    28. 28. © Severine Lacante September 2013 – Brussels Kick of meeting • Got to know who we would be working with • Clarified the scope • Defined next steps
    29. 29. On the following 2 weeks, we worked remotely
    30. 30. Defining the Experience Map and Behavioral Profiles
    31. 31. Defining the design concept
    32. 32. Concept Creation Workshop Sketching & Prototyping User Research Experience map Behavioral Profiles 2 weeks iterations Prototype refinements Afterwards, we started to work together 1 week 1 week Design concept
    33. 33. Concept Creation Workshop Sketching & Prototyping User Research Experience map Behavioral Profiles 2 weeks iterations Prototype refinements 1 week 1 week Design concept
    34. 34. Concept Creation Workshop Sketching & Prototyping User Research Experience map Behavioral Profiles 2 weeks iterations Prototype refinements 1 week 1 week Design concept
    35. 35. Concept Creation Workshop Sketching & Prototyping User Research Experience map Behavioral Profiles 2 weeks iterations Prototype refinements 1 week 1 week Design concept
    36. 36. Concept Creation Workshop Sketching & Prototyping User Research Experience map Behavioral Profiles 2 weeks iterations Prototype refinements 1 week 1 week Design concept
    37. 37. Concept Creation Workshop Sketching & Prototyping User Research Experience map Behavioral Profiles 2 weeks iterations Prototype refinements 1 week 1 week Design concept
    38. 38. 3 iterations 6 weeks
    39. 39. Iteration nr.1 Week #1 • Travel to Brussels • Work on the product selector (compare products) Week #2 • Travel to Brussels • Test the prototype • Refine the prototype
    40. 40. Iteration nr.2 Week #1 • Travel to Brussels • Work on the product selector (compare products) Week #2 • Travel to Brussels • Test the prototype • Refine the prototype Week #3 • Travel to Bristol • Work on the Telecom selector (compare telecom tariffs) Week #4 • Travel to Brussels • Test the prototype • Refine the prototype
    41. 41. Iteration nr.3 Week #1 • Travel to Brussels • Work on the product selector (compare products) Week #2 • Travel to Brussels • Test the prototype • Refine the prototype Week #3 • Travel to Bristol • Work on the Telecom selector (compare telecom tariffs) Week #4 • Travel to Brussels • Test the prototype • Refine the prototype Week #5 • Travel to Lisbon • Work on the Energy selector (compare energy tariffs) Week #6 • Travel to Brussels • Test the prototype • Refine the prototype
    42. 42. The team
    43. 43. Designers Developers Business UXers Belgian, Portuguese, Spanish, French and English
    44. 44. 8 weeks 3 cities 4 languages 100+ wireframes 15 usability testing sessions A lot of travel (and Belgian waffles!) After…
    45. 45. We were able to deliver a fully tested and designed prototype for the Belgian website
    46. 46. We had business buy-in
    47. 47. We are already adopting the same methodology on other projects!
    48. 48. We are already doing the same in Spain!
    49. 49. Lessons Learned
    50. 50. • Helps bringing the right product for our users • Helps focusing on the most important • Gives us the opportunity to connect more closely with our users #1 Having a good User Centered Methodology…
    51. 51. • Helps create a common understanding of what we want to achieve • Makes future project iterations more efficient • Helps getting buy-in from stakeholders • Quickens the decision process #2 Involving people from different areas on the project …
    52. 52. • Creating a good work environment is a must • Working together in the same room instead of remotely is more effective… • … but having people working abroad is physically and emotionally demanding • As tiredness lowers patience, people need to make an effort to be understanding #3 Commitment and effort from everyone involved is required…
    53. 53. • Work follow ups • Light planning • Minor discussions #4 Working remotely is helpful for…
    54. 54. @susanavilaca Q&A

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